Invacare Corp. Sells Altimate Medical

Invacare Corp. has sold Altimate Medical to Rockwood Equity Partners and Granite Equity Partners for approximately $23 million.

In the announcement of the sale, Robert K. Gudbranson, Invacare's interim president/CEO, said, "Altimate is a strong business, but it is outside of Invacare's core North America/home medical equipment product portfolio."

Altimate Medical designs and manufactures EasyStand active and static standing frames for children, teens and adults. The company, headquartered in Morton, Minn., has been a strong advocate for the funding of standing technology and the many clinical benefits that standing can provide to wheelchair users.

Altimate Medical said General Manager Todd Tholkes has been named president/CEO, and added that "all other Altimate executives will remain in place as owners and executives in their current roles."

"We at Altimate Medical remain committed to working with our independent representatives and distributors and are excited about the prospects for the future," Tholkes said in the Altimate announcement.

Rockwood Equity executive Vince Nardy has become chairman of the board for Altimate Medical. Rockwood partner Joe Merrill and Granite Equity partner Pat Edeburn also joined the board of directors alongside Tholkes.

Rockwood Equity describes itself as a private investment firm with offices in Cleveland and New York City. Granite Equity is described as a private investment firm headquartered in St. Cloud, Minn., that grows companies in Minnesota.

"No service delays should be expected as a result of the sale, and Altimate's customers, suppliers and distributors should expect nothing less than outstanding customer service and a seamless transition of ownership," Altimate said in its news release.

Invacare purchased Altimate in 2005, at that time adding the company to its Helixx Group portfolio of complex rehab technology manufacturers. Other companies in the Helixx Group have included Freedom Designs, Küschall, Motion Concepts and PinDot.

"I am grateful to the associates at Altimate for the contributions that they have made to Invacare," Gudbranson said. "The net proceeds from this divestiture give us the opportunity to strengthen our balance sheet through the continued reduction of debt."

Invacare is currently under a U.S. Food & Drug Administration consent decree that has sharply curtailed its United States mobility and complex rehab technology sales in 2013 and 2014.

About the Author

Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at lwatanabe@1105media.com.

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